THIRTEEN TESTED POSITIVE FOR DENGUE FEVER IN TONGA

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THIRTEEN TEST POSITIVE FOR DENGUE FEVER IN TONGA

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (March 17, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The number of dengue fever cases confirmed in Tonga has increased to 13, as a result of six new cases being added to the seven others reported last week by Tonga's Ministry of Health.

Fifty blood samples of suspected dengue fever cases were sent to New Zealand for laboratory testing at a cost of 40 pa'anga ($US 27) each, or a total of 2,000 pa'anga ($US 1,300), Radio Tonga reports.

Most of the test results were negative.

Due to the cost involved in the New Zealand laboratory testing, however, the World Health Organization was approached by the Ministry of Health for assistance. As a result, effective immediately, future testing will be funded by WHO and carried out at a Fiji laboratory.

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